GM Invests in Digital Tech in Michigan

Gary S. Vasilash

Although you might think that this image


is some sort of tribute to Star Trek Into Darkness, it is actually associated with the General Motors Warren Enterprise Data Center—“a state-of-the-art $130-million” facility that GM opened earlier this week on the ground of its Tech Center in Warren, Michigan.

The center is being used for a variety of data-intensive operations, including crash-test simulations and allowing Global Product Development teams to make tooling payments to suppliers during development thereby, no doubt, encouraging suppliers to maintain their development rigor.

About it, Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO said, “Having a single nerve center for our global operations will get newer vehicle designs and technologies into our customers’ hands quicker and improve the bottom line.” He added, “IT is back home where it should be, and it further drives unnecessary complexity from our businesses while improving our operational efficiency and better supporting our business strategy.”


Among the fun facts about the Enterprise Data Center: there are 1,600 miles of high capacity fiber wending their way through the facility; there are 24 server clusters, each with six cooling systems, any one of which has more cooling capacity that an average home’s central air system; which leads to the not surprising figure of the Enterprise Data Center using the electricity consumed by 2,700 average homes.

In addition to which, GM is spending an additional $100-million at its Milford Proving Grounds, also in Michigan, for a second Enterprise Data Center.

Given that it seems as though many U.S.-based companies are locating data centers in places other than the U.S.—or if they are siting them in the U.S., southeastern Michigan is undoubtedly not on the site selection list—GM deserves credit for investing in tech in an area that gave birth to the company back when adding machines were awesomely clever devices.